Goat

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ray miller
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Goat

Post by ray miller » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:01 pm

Sunsets are kisses, the lips of the world
are parting; heaven blushes crimson
until up in the distance that starry ceiling
is the fall of a fountain. Such were the waters
he walked in the first occasion I caught him,
before putting his boots on to make a big splash,
before he began Reversifying - writing his lines from the foot
of a page and scrawling on upwards in order to trace
the ascent of his work to the zenith.
It’s freezing up there, and you do not breathe air,
so much as receive it like a blessing.
He’d stopped breaking out in sonnets
and exploding into sonics, he was abseiling
down the cliffs of heightened language.
He’d captured the zeitgeist and plucked out
its eyes and feathers. To express his uniqueness
he’d write verses without certain letters -
for instance, c’s and l’s, which gave him
‘out with the ‘amorous ‘asses.
He was erasing the boundaries, dissolving the church
and while some found this boring, pretentious
and arch, for others it bandaged a bleeding nerve.
I saw him last time that he paid his yearly visit,
he did this poem about the birth of penicillin.
Onstage he placed a bedpan and bathtub,
a milk churn and bucket - they were symbolic
petri dishes, sat on by four women dressed as chickens.
He called it No Clap, performed on his back
and recited in a mockney accent, innit!
The laughter was infectious, but still I didn’t get it.
They say he was the Greatest Of All Time
for about three minutes.
Last edited by ray miller on Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Macavity
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Re: Goat

Post by Macavity » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:31 pm

before putting his boots on to make a big splash,
Prefer that line. I think bandaged/staunched both work.
The laughter was infectious, but still I didn’t get it.
I feel you can end it there. The last two lines are trowelling on the point.

enjoyed

mac

David
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Re: Goat

Post by David » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:46 pm

Phew. Think I'll grapple with this for a while, but there's a lot I like in there.

Cheers

David

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Re: Goat

Post by Firebird » Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:59 am

Hi Ray,

I think I might have liked to have heard this poet read.

I like this
To express his uniqueness
he’d write verses without certain letters -
for instance, c’s and l’s, which gave him
‘out with the ‘amorous ‘asses.
Funny and clever.

I agree with Mac, the final two lines are pushing the point a bit too much.

It’s an entertaining read.

Cheers,

Tristan

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Jackie
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Re: Goat

Post by Jackie » Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:29 pm

This sounds like a politician I know, whose GOAT time, I hope, will soon end.

I’m having trouble understanding the sequence, especially how this section fits:
before putting his boots on to make a big splash,
before the likes of Reversifying - writing his lines from the foot
of a page and scrawling on upwards in order to trace
the ascent of his work to the zenith.
It’s freezing up there, and you do not breathe
air, so much as sip it like fine claret.
I take it that you are responsible for his turnaround; that you put his boots on—yet everywhere apart from this section, you seem to describe how he was before. Or like a goat, did he turn back on his old feeding ground? I don’t see that here.

Despite the conversational style you have going, and that your subject apparently lives in clichés, would you reconsider “sip it like a fine claret” and “graced us with a visit”?

I enjoyed the imagery in this read, and love the last two lines.
Jackie

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Re: Goat

Post by bjondon » Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:48 pm

I hope this is a political analogy, though it didn't feel as itchy as the other 3 out of 4 last posts.
Given a necessary poetic strategy of plausible deniability I wouldn't expect you to confirm either way.
Performance art sans camera crew is perhaps the most ephemeral of all art forms - so this guy could be real.
I like it as an Armitage 'Robinson' type shadow play (can you say 'My Robinson'?)
Wouldn't change a thing.
Jules

ray miller
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Re: Goat

Post by ray miller » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:07 am

Thanks all. Mac, Tristan - I'm afraid I'm pretty attached to the last 2 lines.
Some years back I was talking to the editor of a now defunct poetry magazine, as one does. He was very enthusiastic about the work of some guy who'd written either a novel or a poetical work without using certain letters. It may have been devoid of vowels altogether, can't remember now. He told me I'd really enjoy it and I said that if I did then it would be in spite of the lack of certain letters rather than because. So the poem's partly about that and someone else I know who embodies that spirit.

Jackie - no, I didn't put his boots on - they wouldn't fit. He put his boots on. I can see what you're thinking, though. Not sure what to do about that. Made changes elsewhere as a result of your observations.

Jules - It's not a political analogy.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: Goat

Post by NotQuiteSure » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:42 am

.
Hi ray,
enjoyed the read. Though, not knowing who the goat is, it felt like I was missing out
on the joke (clearly it's not the chap who wrote Gadsby) ... but that feeling subsided :)

One or two suggestions. The only line I thought didn't work was 'bandaged a bleeding
nerve'.

Sunsets are kisses, the lips of the world
are parting; the heaven's blush crimson
til up in the distance that starry ceiling
is the fall of a fountain. Such were the waters
he walked, in the first occasion I caught him,
before putting his boots on to make a big splash,
before he began Re-versifying - writing his lines
from the foot of a page and scrawling on upwards
in order to trace the ascent of his work to its apogee.
It’s freezing up there, and you do not breathe
air, so much as receive it as if it's a blessing.

He’d stopped breaking out in sonnets
and exploding with sonics, instead was abseiling
down the cliffs of heightened language.
He’d captured the zeitgeist and plucked out
its eyes and feathers. To express his uniqueness
he’d write verses without certain letters -
for instance, c’s and l’s, which gave him
‘out with the ‘amorous ‘asses.
He was erasing the boundaries, dissolving the church
and while some found this boring, pretentious
and arch, for others it soothed a raw nerve.

The last time I saw him was his yearly visit,
when he did this poem on the birth of penicillin.
Onstage he'd placed a bedpan and bathtub,
a milk churn and bucket - symbolic, apparently,
four petri dishes, sat on by women, all dressed as chickens.
He called it No Clap, performed on his back
recited the whole thing in a mockney accent, innit!
The laughter was infectious, but I didn’t get it.
They say he was the Greatest Of All Time
(they say that) for about three minutes.


Regards, Not



.

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JJWilliamson
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Re: Goat

Post by JJWilliamson » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:21 am

I'm reading this literally, Ray, and with that in mind I found it absolutely breathtaking. There are so many clever lines,
and the rhythms work a treat. Some super rhymes on the way and sonically very pleasing all round.

The goat remains a mystery, of course, but the close is a sensation.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

ray miller
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Re: Goat

Post by ray miller » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:15 am

Thanks, Not and JJ. I'm thinking on suggested changes. I had "the heaven's blush crimson" originally, but then I noticed how many times I've used "the" in the first 5 lines. Still too many.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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